Wired for Sound: the Audio Session

The Wired for Sound session was during the 5th round of Nonference sessions and was carried out by the IAB

By IAB UK

“Want to tune in to the audio market and turn up your creativity? Armed with a brief, you’ll build an audio strategy before writing a pitch perfect script. The number one idea will even be recorded for the winning team.”


When we came in, there was three tables, and each of them had a different brief. When we were all in the room and settled, the presentation went underway. We were told to close our eyes, and then a piece of audio played, which was the sound of the ocean, and we were told what we were imagining. All of us visualised being on the beach, and were told how strong sound can be in terms of being able to create a picture in your consciousness. Then, the presentation went on to talk about the audio marketplace, and the different kinds of audio platforms and apps that carry ads and are ad-free, such as radio stations, streaming apps and podcasts. We were then told to consider the benefits of radio and on-demand audio; how radio is more of a push strategy, as the station controls the audio and on-demand is more of a pull strategy, as you have more control on what you listen to.

Next, we were shown a diagram on how connecting with people at different times of the day, in different places can lead to different mindsets, and in turn, different opportunities. Lastly, the presentation reminded us of the importance of relevance; how engagement, long term memory encoding and spontaneous advertising recall all improve when adverts are more relevant to who is listening.

We were then informed of our task, which was to plan a digital audio campaign, and we only had 15 minutes to do so! The first thing they wanted us to decide is what kind of audio environment would want our ad to be played within, and think about the target audience stated on the brief, and what they might like to listen to (podcasts, radio station, streaming app, etc.). Additionally, we had to consider where the audience might be listening from (in vehicle, at home, through headphones).

With all of that in mind, using the brief, we had to write a script, and then provide a 2-minute presentation. Fortunately, each group were given experts to help us out. These experts work for different audio advertising agencies, so had the experience needed to support us. We were told that the winning team would win an Amazon Echo Dot each, as well as have the idea recorded. We were given C&A, the clothing retailer, and we had to create an audio advertisement for their return to the UK market (the other two groups got given Sheen and the Mars Tourism Board). Our idea was to use a song from one of, if not the biggest, boyband in the world around the time that C&A left the UK market in 2000. The Backstreet Boys had a song called Backstreet’s Back, and we decided to create a parody of the beginning of the song, changing the lyrics to create a new track called C&A’s Back. After performing the track to the panel of experts, our idea was voted as the best!

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